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Woman charged with arson in north Spokane apartment fire

A woman is accused of lighting her north Spokane apartment on fire early Tuesday.

Ruth Edmonson, 53, was arrested at the scene on a charge of first-degree arson, Assistant Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer said.

According to a news release, Edmondson set several fires in her apartment in the three-unit, single-story complex at 5414 N. Martin St. around 2 a.m. The fire destroyed her unit and caused smoke damage to a neighboring apartment.

The apartment on the west end of the complex was fully engulfed in flames when crews arrived around 2:10 a.m., according to a release. Edmonson was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation.

Fire investigators reported several points of origin for the fire inside the apartment, indicating it was set on purpose.

Edmonson, who has a history of mental illness, told fire crews she was in bed when a man named Mario broke in and set her apartment on fire, according to court documents. A week earlier, she had reported the same man broke in and tried to steal her clothes and food, but police found no evidence of a break-in, the documents said.

She was held in Spokane County Jail on $25,000 bond.